Massimo Bottura, owner of Osteria Francescana, the Italian restaurant which earlier this month was named number one in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list, is in discussions for a Dubai restaurant.
The three-Michelin starred chef told Catering News Middle East that he is considering opening a contemporary, casual Italian trattoria called Osteria Franceschetta in several locations, including Dubai.
Bottura commented: “Franceschetta, a contemporary Italian trattoria may be making waves in 2017. We are looking into opening in several locations, maybe even in the Middle East.
“It would be a contemporary Italian trattoria and extremely good in terms of quality of the ingredients and very nice preparations.”
Having visited Dubai recently, Bottura said the emirate would be the most likely Middle Eastern location for an Osteria Franceschetta.
Commenting on the dining scene in Dubai, he said: “I was there very briefly and I was amazed at the enthusiasm and energy around, but unfortunately there was no time to eat out. It could be a very interesting place to open a contemporary restaurant, but casual.
“Hopefully on my next trip I’ll have more time. I’ve heard that the Dubai culinary scene has grown a lot in the past 10 years so it’s very exciting.”
Bottura is currently looking for the right partner for the concept, and has already been approached with an opportunity.
He commented: “I was interested in opening something in the Middle East but I need to feel that the people that are going to open are going to invest the trust in us – I have to feel their trust.”
The restaurant would not be Bottura’s first international venture, with Ristorante Italia Di Massimo Bottura operating in Istanbul.
Bottura confirmed that no more restaurants will open under the Osteria Francescana brand, with the Modena outlet to act as the central ‘laboratory’.
“Osteria Francescana will never move from Via Stella 22. Francescana will stay here, it’s art of the mind, the laboratory of thinking, of opening the door for the unexpected,” he said.
Osteria Francescana was named number one at The World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards ceremony at Cipriani Wall Street, New York on 13 June.
The restaurant, located in the small town of Modena, Italy, was listed at No.3 in 2013 and 2014 and stepped up to No.2 in last year’s ranking.
Featuring restaurants from 23 countries spread across six continents, the list provides an annual snapshot of the greatest gastronomic experiences across the globe.
Zuma Dubai and La Petite Maison also made the list at numbers 89 and 99 respectively, however no restaurant in the Middle East has ever broken into the top 50 of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list.
Words: Crystal Chesters